We all want a "quick fix" for disorders like high cholesterol, it seems. We want to be able to eat all the pizza and cheeseburgers we want and then take a magic pill so all the LDL cholesterol running through our bloodstream just disappears. No matter what the statin drug commercials tell you, there is no "magic pill" solution for high cholesterol. Despite the mainstream media's portrayal of statin drugs like Lescol (fluvastatin) as near-miraculous, cholesterol-lowering medications like Lescol and other statins are nevertheless drugs with side effects. Don't be fooled by the hype -- you don't need the risk or expense of Lescol to lower the cholesterol clogging your arteries.
Lescol is one of six prescription drugs known as "statins." Others include Baycol, Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol and Mevachor. Lescol and the other statins work by blocking 3-hydroxy-3 methyl glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, an enzyme the body needs to produce cholesterol in the liver. Due to this effect, proponents of these drugs argue that they reduce cholesterol levels, as well as risk for heart attacks and coronary-related death. As "South Beach Diet" author Arthur Agatston writes, "With [statin drugs], we were able to cut cholesterol quite easily and dramatically -- 20 to 30 percent initially, and now, up to 50 percent."
However, like most things that seem too good to be true, this "quick fix" solution to cholesterol has a strong downside that outweighs its benefits. "There's no doubt that statins help millions by reducing heart attacks, strokes and overall cardiac mortality. But statins harm thousands, perhaps millions more, often unnecessarily," the Life Extension Foundation writes in "Disease Prevention and Treatment." As testament to this, on Aug. 8, 2001, the FDA announced that Bayer Pharmaceuticals had voluntarily decided to remove Baycol from the U.S. market after research studies indicated the drug sometimes causes a fatal muscle-wasting disease called rhabdomyolysis.
However, just because the remaining five statins are still on the market doesn't mean they are safe. The 2004 Bottom Line Yearbook states, "Five statins remain on the market -- lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), atorvastatin (Lipitor) and fluvastatin (Lescol). Each of these can cause Myositis." This is a rare and sometimes debilitating disease in which the body's immune system chronically inflames muscle tissue, progressively weakening it. Furthermore, animal-based research studies indicate that statins like Lescol may cause cancer, according to "Worst Pills, Best Pills" by Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe MD and Larry D. Sasich. All this translates to 81 deaths linked to the five remaining statin drugs, according to figures in American Medical Publishing's Prescription Medicines, Side Effects and Natural Alternatives, and those are only the ones found under today's voluntary reporting requirements.
Fortunately, you don't need Lescol and other potentially dangerous statin drugs to lower your cholesterol. In the NaturalNews article "How to lower high cholesterol naturally without prescription drugs", Health Ranger Mike Adams explains how he dropped his LDL (bad) cholesterol to only 67 by using healthy exercise and nutrition, rather than statins. Read Adams' tried-and-trusted strategies for lowering your cholesterol and making your body healthier overall before you decide to try an ill-conceived "magic pill" solution.
Note from Mike Adams, the Health Ranger: Even when statin drugs lower cholesterol, that is no "cure" for a health condition. High cholesterol is not a disease, it's only a measurement of a single biochemical marker. By treating only the high cholesterol, doctors are treating symptoms, not the underlying causes of disease.
Statin drugs may be dangerous for reasons far beyond what was mentioned above. Statins, for example, interfere with normal liver metabolism, resulting in alarming deficiencies of CoQ10 in the body's cells, leading to heart problems and chronic fatigue. By blocking the production of cholesterol, statins also interfere with the production of sex hormones and vitamin D.
If you're on statin drugs, and you've lost your sex drive, feel tired all the time, and have poor bone density, these aren't coincidences. The drugs can cause these problems, all of which are of course treated with more drugs rather than just taking patients off the statin drugs and resorting to natural cholesterol solutions.
People who take statin drugs to "control" their cholesterol are literally swallowing a lie. Take it from me, with HDL cholesterol of 62 and LDL cholesterol of 67, you don't need drugs to have healthy cholesterol. The hyping and marketing of statin drugs is nothing more than a profiteering scam based on fraudulent science, selective reporting, and disease mongering.
Expert opinions on Lescol:
Baycol is actually just one of an entire class of popular cholesterol lowering drugs, or statins, which include these major names -- Lipitor, Zocor, Lescol, Mevacor and Pravachol.
Prescription Medicines, Side Effects and Natural Alternatives by American Medical Publishing, page 56
How and how well it works
Cholesterol lowering statin drugs -- Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Pravachol, and Zocor--operate at the level of 3-hydroxy-3 methyl glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. HMG-CoA reductase is a rate-limiting enzyme that participates in cholesterol synthesis. The cholesterol cascade occurs as follows: (1) acetyl-CoA is converted to HMG-CoA, (2) HMG-CoA is reduced to mevalonic acid by the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, and (3) several steps convert mevalonic acid to squalene and then to cholesterol.
Disease Prevention and Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 465
One type of drug used to bring down cholesterol is the HMB-CoA reductase inhibitor. Examples include fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), and simvastatin (Zocor). HMB-CoA is an enzyme necessary in the early stages of cholesterol synthesis; by blocking its action, these drugs reduce the production of cholesterol in the liver.
Smart Medicine for Healthier Living by Janet Zand LAc OMD, Allan N. Spreen MD CNC and James B. LaValle RPh ND, page 195
The downside to Lescol
The statins -- Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Mevacor, Lescol -- were the best-selling group of drugs in America in 2001. There's no doubt that statins help millions by reducing heart attacks, strokes and overall cardiac mortality. But statins harm thousands, perhaps millions more, often unnecessarily.
Disease Prevention and Treatment by Life Extension Foundation, page 713
FDA announced on August 8, 2001 that Bayer Pharmaceutical Division is voluntarily withdrawing Baycol (cerivastatin) from the U.S. market because of reports of sometimes fatal rhabdomyolysis, a severe muscle adverse reaction from this cholesterol-lowering (lipid-lowering) product. The FDA agrees with and supports this decision.
"Baycol Information" by the FDA (Aug. 8, 2001)
Five statins remain on the market -- lovastatin (Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), atorvastatin (Lipitor) and fluvastatin (Lescol). Each of these can cause Myositis.
Bottom Line Yearbook 2004 by Bottom Line Personnel, page 199
Animal studies consistently show a cancer-causing effect for the two most popular classes of cholesterol-lowering drugs, the fibrates or fibric acid derivatives, which include clofibrate (ATROMID-S) and gemfibrozil (LOPID), and the widely used statin drugs, fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (MEVACOR), pravastatin (PRAVACHOL), and simvastatin (ZOCOR).
Worst Pills, Best Pills by Sidney M. Wolfe MD and Larry D. Sasich PharmD MPH, page 56
As it turns out, at least 81 more deaths were connected to Baycol's sisters -- Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor, Lescol and Lipitor.
Prescription Medicines, Side Effects and Natural Alternatives by American Medical Publishing, page 61